Michael Bisping will not give Luke Rockhold immediate rematch

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Michael Bisping has warned Luke Rockhold that he will have to wait for his rematch.

Bisping became the first ever UFC champion from the UK, after he knocked out Luke Rockhold in the first round at UFC 199.

In the post fight press conference, the pair continued their feud, with many expecting it would result in a rubber match, possibly in the UK later this year. 


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In an interview with Brett Okamoto of ESPN, however, Bisping claimed that Rockhold would have to go to the "back of the line". 

"As of right now, Luke Rockhold will not be my first defense. That's a fact. I had to go away and beat three more guys before I got a second shot at Luke. Certainly, after his behavior on Saturday, he should have to go away and do the same.

"He wasn't even close. And it's not like Luke beat me, then I beat Luke, so therefore we have to go again right away. The first fight was two years ago. Neither of us were champion then.

"He became champion, good for him. And I just knocked him out in the first round. Luke's an incredible fighter. He probably has better technical skill than I do. He's going to go away and do it the old-fashioned way like I had to."

Since Bisping claimed the title last Saturday, there has been no shortage of potential challengers.

During that same press conference, Jacare Souza was also linked with a shot at the gold. Bisping said he would be more than happy to give "great fighter" Jacare a shot.

"Unfortunately, I'm not going to give you a name", he said. "There is someone I've got my eye on, but ultimately it's down to the UFC.

"I do get a say since I'm the champion, so that's nice. But I've never turned down an opponent and I certainly don't intend to start as a champion.

"We'll see what happens. There's plenty of viable contenders. Defending the title in the U.K. is certainly something I'd love to do, and I've already made it clear to Dana White that I would like to do that."

He also engaged in a war of words on social media with former middleweight champion Chris Weidman.

Weidman called Bisping out via Twitter, labeling him a "bum". Bisping responded pretty quickly, telling Weidman to fight Rockhold.

2016 has been a phenomenal year for Bisping, he was originally scheduled to face Gegard Mousasi in London in February, before the UFC switched it up and squared him off against the greatest of all time, Anderson Silva.

In one of the fights of the year, Bisping won via unanimous decision. 

Then on 17 days notice, he faced champion Luke Rockhold, who in 2014, submitted Bisping in the second round. He was a massive underdog, but in one of the biggest moments in UK MMA history, he knocked out Rockhold to claim the UFC Middleweight championship.

Whatever route the UFC go down with Bisping, it's sure to be an exciting ride with him as the champion. 

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Dana White
Anderson Silva
Michael Bisping

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